When Should You Use A Muzzle?
Muzzles can be very effective tools for aiding in training and for ensuring safety when dealing with aggression issues in your dog.
The point of a muzzle is to keep your dog from being able to bite and cause injury to whoever is handling them. Muzzles can be used during training sessions to modify behavior.
Usually, they will be used on a dog that has issues with handling and it is trained to be less aggressive.
However, they can also be very helpful when used on a dog that is only likely to bite during treatments or grooming sessions.
A muzzle can help keep a snappish dog safe so that their nails can be clipped or their hair can be brushed. It’s also good for use during vaccination or other medical treatments.
Your veterinarian will thank you, as will your groomer or vet if your dog is not yet fully trained to refrain from snapping and biting while they are being handled.
Dangers Of Using A Muzzle.
As handy and helpful as muzzles can be, they must be used properly or they can be dangerous and result in injury to your dog.
If you have decided to muzzle your dog that has never been muzzled before, it will take patience and training to get them used to wear their muzzle. Be prepared with lots of treats and lots of time.
It is important that your dog be comfortable wearing his muzzle so that he does not cause himself any injury struggling to get it off. It is also very important that the muzzle fits your dog properly.
If it fits too tightly for your dog to be able to pant or open his mouth, then the chances of them overheating are much higher. When fastening the muzzle on your dog be sure that it is secure.
Certain precautions should be taken when using a muzzle on your dog to lessen the possible dangers that could arise. When your dog is muzzled, do not leave them unattended. Supervision is necessary to ensure that your dog doesn’t scratch and injure himself in an attempt to get it off. Muzzles are not a cure-all for aggression or other behavioral problems.
They should only be used as supplemental aids to ensure safety and never as a complete fix. Also, it is always best to use a muzzle in conjunction with a leash. It is never wise to completely trust a muzzle to be inescapable since dogs can be veritable Houdinis at getting out of restraints when no one is watching.
As A Measure To Prevent Barking
While in the past it was a fairly common practice to try to prevent barking by using one of these apparatus, it’s no longer considered safe or effective to do so. While it does stop actual barking, it does not prevent vocalization and is not a measure to be used for more than a few minutes at a time.
Bark training and bark collars are much more effective and humane ways of taking on a barking problem.
Choosing A Muzzle
Options for muzzling come in two style options: the “basket” style that looks like a wire cage and the nylon wrap style, also commonly known as the ‘groomer’s muzzle’.
Baskets are usually made of sturdy plastic or wire and are designed in a basket-like weave that fits around a dog’s mouth. The basket muzzle is designed to be spacious enough to allow the dog plenty of room for opening and closing its mouth but does not allow for eating or drinking.
It is possible that dogs wearing baskets can still cause harm to a person or another dog by lunging or jabbing with his mouth. This action is referred to as “muzzle punching”. It’s an attempt to bite, but with the teeth inaccessible.
Nylon wrap or sleeves are constructed of a wide strip of nylon that encircles the dog’s mouth and is held in place by two long nylon strips that wrap back behind the dog’s ears.
The design of the nylon types is made to restrict the dog’s mouth sufficiently that they are unable to open or close their mouth, but rather the mouth is held in almost a completely closed position.
This prevents the dog from being able to pant. Because of this, dogs should not be left wearing a nylon muzzle for more than very short periods of time to avoid overheating, especially in warm conditions.
Do not ever leave a dog unsupervised while it is wearing any kind of muzzling apparatus. Overheating and thirst, as well as self-harm from stress, are very common in such situations.
Getting Proper Sizing
Muzzles are never a one size fits all option and it is important to properly measure your dog to be sure that you choose the right size for the most comfortable and pleasant experience possible.
Even though some are advertised as breed specific, it is never wise to allow this to be the only determination of what size your dog needs, as head and facial measurements vary widely even within a specific breed. As a result, it is impossible for any one muzzle to fit every single Rottweiler r every single Doberman in existence.
There is a simple and accurate way to measure your dog to determine the appropriate size for a muzzle.
The first measurement to take is at the top of the nose from the tip up to about a half inch from the eyes.
Next, with your measuring tape positioned about one half inch under the eyes, wrap around the muzzle with your dog’s mouth completely closed to get the circumference measurement.
These length and circumference measurements will allow you to properly determine which muzzle will fit your dog accurately.
We reccomend this “Groomer’s Muzzle” option as a gentle and easy to use solution if your pet is snapping at the vet or groomer while in high stress situations.
Quick Fit Dog Muzzle With Adjustable Straps
This is a great choice when you need a simple and comfortable option that is an easy fit for your dog’s needs.
It is great for providing a gentle restraint if your dog is aggressive or for when you are working through aggression issues.
It is also a top notch option for use during grooming and handling sessions.
This is designed with a strap that is fully adjustable and comes with a quick release buckle and can be cleaned in a washer on the cool gentle wash cycle and tumble dried on low for easy maintenance.
Remember that it is never safe to leave your dog wearing a muzzle unattended or for long periods of time. This especially applies to nylon style because they restrict your dog’s mouth movement keeping him from being able to open and close their mouth which can lead to overheating, especially in warm weather climates.